Spending a lot of time indoors and looking to pick up a new hobby? Board games have saved me during quarantine and I’m sure they will save you from boredom too! But let’s not start with a heavy Gloomhaven box. Here you’ll find a list of the easiest board games for beginners to start playing in 2021.
As a fellow newbie, I haven’t had the chance to try all ten of these board games, but my currently small collection has several of the following tabletop games already.
In order to complete the rest of the list I’ve gone through tons of board game websites and videos so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Here is the list of the 10 board games I recommend you buy if you are a beginner and you want both to have tons of fun and also to have a lasting and repeatable experience withouth going broke.
The most important factor for the list is that all of the games listed below are easy to play and the rules are easy to explain to others. You will be playing in no time. These are the easiest board games for beginners.
Easiest Board Games for Beginners
Azul is one of the most beautiful board games I have seen, starting with the box. And it’s not wonder that is the case, because in Azul we are going to build Porguese tile walls.
You have to make sure you pick the right tiles from the providers at any time, so that you will be able to add to your rows of tiles and score the most points by doing so.
Very few games are so simple to learn, yet so complex in mastering. This will give you hours of play while being as excited as the first game.
And, really, those plastic tiles, I want them all over my walls now!
Since I haven’t played Azul yet, I watched this great introduction by Teach The Table to write the text above. Check it out too!
Based in the beautiful village in Southern France, Carcassonne is all about building towns, paths and getting abbeys surrounded by grassy tiles. You are going to compete with others trying to seize the most points at the end of the game, by claiming those areas with your meeples.
Carcassonne has become one of the most famous board game franchises and there is a myriad different expansions to turn an already more than fun game into a neverending experience.
Catan is the classic of the classic. The most played board game ever, or at least the one that took the typical Trivial Pursuit, Risk or Monopoly player to board game addiction.
In Catan, you are one of the settlers of the island by the same name. You will be able to get the resources that the island gives you, trade them and build with them roads, settlements and finally cities. Points will be accumulated during various rounds, until a winner is proclaimed!
The last time I played Catan was unfortunately more than ten years ago. To refresh my memory, I watched this great video by The Rules Girl on how to play a game of Catan.
Codenames is a word board game. Two teams of spies fight against each other. Each one is going to try to contact their spies on the field before the others do.
Blue against red and a five by five square of words. You will have to give a word that will make your team mates identify the right location of you agents. If you do, the game is yours.
Dixit is probably one of the most beautiful card games I’ve ever seen. The art is simply otherwordly. And we don’t use otherworldly lightly here, it really does take you to other worlds.
You can tell a story or simply say a couple words that relate to what the card you decide to play is showing. Then the rest of the players play cards that could align with what you said. Cards are revealed and people guess which was your card.
Munchkin is a card game, a parody to Dungeons & Dragons and other dungeon crawlers and Role Playing Games and also a very successful franchise with tons of titles.
The objective of the game is to turn your poor level one human into a great level 10 wizard, warrior, cleric or thief (and maybe change their race on the way there).
You will be fighting fun monsters and looting great treasures while making sure you screw your friends and family at the table in every possible way. But of course with great sense of humor.
Last time I played Munchkin, I don’t think I was even old enough to drive so, to refresh my memory, I checked this intro video by CoolStuffInc.
In Santorini you combine building white walled and blue domed towers with having the help of gods to carry that task.
The reference of the dreamlike town in Greece would be already enough to captivate me, but it turns out, it’s a banger of a game, and so easy to play, you will need less time than what it takes to set up the cliff that acts as board.
If you don’t believe me, watch this three minute video from Geek & Sundry that I used to write about Santorini, since unfortunately Santa has not delived it yet!
Splendor is a card building game were you play the role of a jewel merchant trying to get prestige by obtaining development cards and pleasing the lords.
Beautiful gem tokens are used to acquire said developments. Reserve those developments and you will earn prestige. You can also use your jewels to gain the favour of the lords.
It’s a very easy to explain board game, that will keep you playing with friends and family for quite a while. You can see another great review from The Rules Girl here.
9. Sushi Go Party!
Sushi Go Party! is an awesome family game. And not only that, it may be the cutest board game in this list.
You are eating at a sushi buffet, one of those restaurants where sushi spins around a trail while you eat and pick whatever you feel like having.
The only difference is the sushi pieces are cards, and you are passing them to your friends. Each one has a point value. They can be combined for extra points, or their value will drop to zero if some conditions are not met.
That is the premise of Sushi Go!, actually, it’s older brother, Sushi Go Party!, just gives you a ton more options, cards and customisation. That way playability is maximised.
I haven’t even gone past the first meal, and I have played it several times!
10. Ticket to Ride
In Ticket to Ride the objective is to create the longest train routes possible in a map that initial was that of the United States, but that since has turned into many others thanks to the different editions of the game.
You draw train cards from a deck and once you have enough of a given colour you turn them into tracks in the map. You will also be able to claim destinations that will be adding points to your final count.
If you are fan if train and travel, this game will be quite inspiring. Plus, if you travel a lot, you will be the first to start!
This review from Triple S Games helped me describe the game to you since I haven’t gotten my own copy just yet.
Why Are These the Easiest Board Games for Beginners?
Calling a board game the easiest one for beginners is obviously a personal choice. But what exactly is my criteria to do so? Here is the list of things I want an easy board game to have:
- Short and easy to understand rules.
- A game can be played in no more than 60 minutes and the outcome is easy to understand.
- The setting is clear and helps the players getting involved.
- It doesn’t get much more difficult if four players or more play it instead of just two.
So, now you know which are the easiest board games for beginners to start playing in 2021. I hope this list had something to your liking, and remember that using the Amazon links in this article helps me to continue working on this beautiful project that is Board Game Newbie. I hope to see you soon on the tables!